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5 Silver Bullets of the Monster IT Project

Why do so many monstrous IT projects bite the dust, sometimes dragging the business down in the process? Pearl Zhu for Future of CIO knows how IT managers can avoid those fatal silver bullets that can threaten the very existence of a project in transformation.

The Fatal Five

  • No. 1 – A Weak Business Case
  • No. 2 – Incoherent IT Governance
  • No. 3 – Business Unaccountability
  • No. 4 – Organizational Imbalance
  • No. 5 – Harnessing New Tech

Without a clear business plan, a monster project is just a tangled mass of understated objectives and fuzzy parameters flailing in the night. Sure it has a sense of purpose in the beginning, but the dynamic and often disruptive process of project transformation tends to generate chaos out of order. In a similar vein, a lack of strong IT governance often causes the IT project to run amok. When the motives of the monster project are not aligned with the schemes of its business side, the likely culprits are external providers and outside projects that need to be brought into the fold.

Obviously, if the business fails to take control of the monster IT project it will find its own devious path, and may even turn on the business itself. Without enterprise accountability, there can be no project predictability. The true myth is that IT and the business are separate entities. They are, in fact, the same creature. To this effect, the business side must balance its influence with that of monster IT. Truly, any project is the business’ project and it only uses IT powers to influence desired outcomes. This fact is often overlooked when much of the focus is directed toward powerful technologies. Once project transformation begins, IT often fails to confer with its business logic and therefore overshoots its targets.

Businesses tend to overlook their existing digital powers, preferring instead to harness nascent technology they do not fully understand. Oftentimes, utilizing innate functionality is a more genuine and reliable way for the business to reach its goals.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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